Jason: a Sod Stud

Posted by on December 13, 2007 at 3:54 am :: 3 Comments

We moved into our new house in mid-August. Although this move took place late in the summer we planned on putting in our sprinkler system and sod before winter. Jason and I unfortunately didn’t know anything about landscaping, sprinklers, sod, or any of that, since we have never had a yard ourselves. So we decided to brainstorm landscape ideas with a landscape designer. She was very helpful and I would recommend this procedure to anyone in a similar situation.

After we had planned out our wonderful yard we were temporarily delayed from doing the real work for a few weeks by the remainder of the boxes in our front room that still needed unpacking and Halloween party preparation.

As soon as Halloween had passed we immediately started the mad rush to get our yard ready for sod. This rush was mainly due to the fact that we had our sod scheduled for delivery on November 17, giving us only two and half weeks to get ready. With cold weather surely on the way we did not want the sod delivered any later than it had to be. Because we were short-handed we enlisted Jason’s little brother, Matt, to be our slave monkey. We bribed him with an enormous salary of $10/hr. Ah yes, I remember the good ol’ days when that was a lot of money. Fortunately for us, Matt still thinks that is a lot of money so he was happy to do strenuous labor for us.

Rac shovels Jeremy tilling Jason carries sod

In addition to Matt- Jason’s parents, my dad, and several of our siblings kindly gave up many hours of their time to help us. (Thanks to all of you! You are awesome!)

Despite our time constraints, we decided to do things right and not skip any steps. As the landscaping specialist had recommended, instead of putting in top soil we spread out a whole dump truck of compost over our yard and tilled it in to amend our soil. This compost contained good old horse manure amongst other things, which led to some poo flinging fights while we were working.

We worked every spare minute of our time and were fortunate enough to enjoy lovely weather for two Saturdays in a row. I was able to wear shorts and a t-shirt- for November that is pretty impressive. (It is unfortunately a far cry from the weather now.)

This good weather did not stay with us however for the duration of our lawn installation experience. A few days before our sod was to arrive it started feeling like one would expect November to- cold and bitterly windy.

But we had no choice but to keep working. So that is exactly what we did. The north side of our house became known as the wind tunnel. For some reason all the wind channels through it and it seems twice as cold as anywhere else in our yard. So we fought over who had to work on that side and drank lots of hot chocolate.

At last the day of sod delivery arrived and we anxiously awaited its arrival, which was supposed to be at 2:00 PM. Although I had gotten off work early to put in as much sod as possible before it got dark, 2:00 came and went and our sod did not appear. Finally at 5:30, after it was already dark, our 10 pallets of sod arrived. By this time it was extremely cold but we were so thrilled to finally have the sod that Jason decided to put in as much as possible in the dark using a flood light. Our friend Rowley volunteered to help and our other friend Cameron volunteered to watch everyone work. This installation continued for an hour or two until snow finally put a stop to it. But the next day, the day before Thanksgiving, we were back at it. We worked through the afternoon and not long after it got dark we were finally done. YEAH! I had to dance around on my new lawn! It was thrilling to have it in after all that hard work.

Mom trenching Dad with wheelbarrow

And for all of you that are thinking, “I hope their sod doesn’t die. Isn’t November pretty late in the year to be putting in sod?” no worries. We asked the sod people lots of questions. November is a great time to put in sod. Your sod will actually fair a lot better than if you put it in in the heat of the summer. It is actually going dormant for the winter by November so it doesn’t require much attention. It is better if you are able to water it a couple times before the cold weather sets in for good and if it is kept free of snow that sticks for at least the first couple of weeks after it is put in. But even if those requirements aren’t met, it’s pretty forgiving because it’s “asleep” for the winter. Luckily, it rained several times in the first couple weeks after we put in our sod and no snow stayed for long, until now. So when spring comes we should have a yard or awesomeness!!!!


  • Cam says:

    It’s true… I stood there and watched everyone work. I offered helpful comments like, “It’s too cold to work!” and “You guys are nuts!” But kudos to you for sticking it out.

  • Sue says:

    I’m pretty sure that I worked off my own spare tire with all the long grueling hours that J and Rae made us all work. They had to have asked for the best of weather to get us to come over and then the worst cold streak by the time we got there. The maze of trenches went on on forever, with white pipe that went on for miles and miles, back and forth, and zigzagging all around. I think there was enough in the ground for 10 backyards. I know that was true about the 10 pallets of grass. Enough for 10 yards. The piles went on forever. I’m so glad though that we did come over to help, a lot of good company, a lot of great laughs, especially to pooh throwing. Who would have thought that Rae would also be in the middle of so much pooh? We’ll see how great our work will add up to next Spring when they have the most beautiful lawn in the neighborhood.

  • Rac says:

    Yes, Cam your comments encouraging us to give up were extremely helpful! And Sue, thanks for REAL help!

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